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Reduction of the effective shear viscosity in polymer solutions due to crossflow migration in microchannels: Effective viscosity models based on DPD simulations

Palmer, T.L. , Baardsen, G. , Skartlien, R.
Journal of dispersion science and technology, (2017), 1-17
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Molecular dynamics simulations (dissipative particle dynamics–DPD) were developed and used to quantify wall-normal migration of polymer chains in microchannel Poseuille flow. Crossflow migration due to viscous interaction with the walls results in lowered polymer concentration near the channel walls. A larger fraction of the total flow volume becomes depleted of polymer when the channel width h decreases into the submicron range, significantly reducing the effective viscosity. The effective viscosity was quantified in terms of channel width and Weissenberg number Wi, for 5% polymer volume fraction in water. Algebraic models for the depletion width δ(Wi, h) and effective viscosity μe(δ/h, Wi) were developed, based on the hydrodynamic theory of Ma and Graham and our simulation results. The depletion width model can be applied to longer polymer chains after a retuning of the polymer persistence length and the corresponding potential/thermal energy ratio.
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